U.S., Britain trade talks to start next week in Baltimore

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States and the United Kingdom will kick off trade talks next week, the U.S. Office of the Trade Representative (USTR) and the British government said on Wednesday.

Securing a trade deal with the United States was one of the main goals of the campaign that led Britain out of the European Union, although critics said any deal would take years and never fully compensate for leaving the EU’s single market.

Discussions will start March 21 and March 22 in Baltimore, Md., followed by another meeting later in the spring in Britain, the two sides said in separate statements.

The talks “will explore how the United States and United Kingdom can collaborate to advance mutual international trade priorities rooted in our shared values, while promoting innovation and inclusive economic growth for workers and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic,” the USTR said.

The “new series of transatlantic dialogues (is) aimed at deepening trade and investment ties and boosting our already-thriving 200 billon pound ($153 billion) relationship,” the UK government said.

The allies are expected to discuss collaboration on easing supply-chain congestion, decarbonizing their economies, promoting digital trade, supporting domestic workforces and labor rights, said the Wall Street Journal, which earlier reported the talks, citing U.S. and UK officials.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey in WashingtonAdditional reporting by Jahnavi Nidumolu in BengaluruEditing by Mark Potter)